Regardless of the decor or the neighbourhood, the bars that take bets on the horses are always a little seedy.
I step out for a smoke.
I turn on my podcasts. I am in the middle of the latest episode of “From Behind the Glass: Legendary producer Ken Johnson tells the stories behind the hits.”
“There was this kid, ‘Rob.’ An American stranded in London. Abandoned by a touring band when they found out that their guitarist had not broken his hand. The group did not survive the discovery and Rob had been left to fend for himself.
In the evenings, after his ‘beatnik tea,’ he would plug his guitar in to the studio’s Maestro FZ-1 and start noodling, seeing what sounds he could get the fuzz box to make. He said he was trying to reproduce the sound effects the Brits were using. He figured if he could do them live he could earn himself a ticket out of town.
There was something in the sounds he was producing. I wanted to use them on …”
The contrarian startles me. I resist the urge to grab my neck.“Hey!” Turning off my podcast, I congratulate myself on my successful combat against the primitive instinct to camouflage my surprise.
Camus-flage. It is his new thing. Philosopher puns. Kant shows up often.
It is his default for starting a conversation. Making himself interesting. First the equivocation because he doesn’t want to be mistaken for a Linkhorn: “It is not that I am for the statues,”
Followed by the contrarianism: “still some weight has to be given to the argument about their historical importance.”
“A lot of them were put up in the twentieth century as monuments to racism.”
“If we just think of them as historical …”
Oh shit! He is going there. I forgot how far he is willing to go to justify his contrarian view. Double shit! I am going to do a Godwin’s Law in real life.
“If it is historical then it belongs in a museum. If you have a historically important statue of Hitler, do you leave it in the main square or move it to a museum?”
“Well, if …, ok …, uh ….”
When he has finished thrashing about a fish in the bottom of the boat, I blow some stoner philosophy his way. “It takes a long time to learn how to be yourself, especially since you can never really know yourself.”
“Wow!” You would think he is the one smoking weed and, just like many altered-state epiphanies, it wont make it to morning.
The bullshit I spew. Weed and quotes. If I keep on mixing the two, people will start wondering were my harem of disciples are. If only I had a theory of everything, a unifying idea, packaging. The gurus all have their one great idea that explains the universe. My measured view, nothing is black or white, doesn’t leave room for absolutes.
I remember asking my mother if she had listened to Elvis, Buddy and the early rock ‘n’ rollers when she was younger. I think she said they called the people who listened to rock ‘n’ roll ‘Black-jackets.’
“At the start of the seventies psychedelic rock started to morph into progressive rock and hard rock.”
George Clinton was one of the few still pushing the envelope in seventies. And there was the scene in Africa. Inspired by Hendrix. Which is an oversimplification. For example, Jagari’s nickname.
We Intend To Create Havoc. A somewhat adolescent acronym. A somewhat rebellious attitude.